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5 questions to ask before you paint a house exterior
Make sure the time is right for your exterior paint job with our expert guide to what you need to factor into your project.
Behind every successful project, there’s a schedule. When preparing to paint the exterior of your home – whether yourself or with professional help – it’s important to agree the parameters. So ask yourself these five key questions before the clock starts ticking…
1. How big is it?
The most obvious factor is, of course, the size of your home. Put simply, a mansion will take a lot longer than a terrace house. If you calculate roughly how many square metres of painting are involved, a professional will be able to give an estimated timescale. Things like the exterior surfaces (rough textured walls can absorb up to 10% more paint than smooth walls, as well as taking longer to paint) and the number of coats will also affect timings.
2. How bad is it?
OK, we know how big it is, but how’s it looking? Is masonry crumbling? Is wooden trim rotten or paint flaking? Preparing worn or damaged surfaces can be time-consuming. This could take longer than the actual painting, so bear in mind that the worse condition the exterior is in, the longer the job.
3. How hard is it?
The more doors and windows your home has, the harder the job, since trim is more difficult to paint. Also think about obstructions. A professional decorator should consider such things in their quote. For example, bushes, trees or fences that limit access or high walls that require added safety equipment in order to be painted could add both time and expense to your job.
4. How’s the weather?
For the optimum exterior paint finish, it is worth avoiding extremes of weather. Obviously, painting shouldn’t be done in the rain, but it’s also worth avoiding extremely hot or cold conditions, since they can affect how the paint adheres to the surfaces.
5. Who’s doing it?
Professional painters have the experience and skill to complete a job much more quickly, in general, than if you do it yourself. A skilled worker can usually cover an open square metre of smooth surface in about 30 seconds – a rate that others might find hard to match. However, doing it yourself has the benefit that you can continue outside working hours if you have a tight schedule to keep.